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Although Lemitar does not appear on any Mexican period lists of settlements it apparently came into existence in 1831. The present church, completed by 1835, had its first burial in its camposanto shortly afterwards. The plaza was located to the east of the church and the road probably ran through the plaza (Scurlock 1982:7; Marshall and Walt 1984:277).
In November 1846 James William Abert observed Lemitar across the river from his camp on the east bank. He included it on his map of the region (Abert 1962:119,frontispiece). George Rutledge Gibson, in Doniphan’s army traveling down the west bank in December 1846, camped 166 at “Limitar” (Bieber 1935:290-291). The missionary Read dined with ex- governor Manuel Armijo in “Limita” in 1851. Read described a “thriving town of some 300 souls...in a most beautiful portion of the valley” (Bloom 1942:134- 135). W.W.H. Davis crossed the Río Grande from east to west near “Limitar” in 1855. His party continued into Lemitar and lunched at the home of the late governor, Manuel Armijo (Davis 1938:202).